UAW official: GM's offer came too late to avoid strike

UAW official: GM's offer came too late to avoid strike

UAW official: GM's offer came too late to avoid strike

There's no word of any progress and the two sides remained far apart, said Glenn Kage, President of UAW Local 2250 in Wentzville.

More than 49,000 United Auto Workers Union employees have walked off the job at General Motors facilities across the USA, launching their first strike at the nation's largest vehicle company in a dozen years. President Donald Trump has consistently criticized the company and demanded that Lordstown be reopened.

Union members on strike get $250 a week in strike pay instead of their regular earnings, and stand to lose more on annual profit-sharing checks. They also say they served GM well when it went through bankruptcy and now, the company is in good shape.

"It's business on both parts and I'm just out her doing what's necessary on my behalf", said James Terry.

GM workers are also picketing outside factories in Fort Wayne, Marion and Kokomo.

On the other side, GM expects union employees to share more health care costs, increase productivity, and be more flexible in GM's 12 remaining US factories and 22 parts plants.

Dziczek and Art Wheaton, an auto industry expert at the Worker Institute at Cornell University, say GM left out key details when it made part of its offer public, and working out those details could make the strike last longer.

In a statement, GM said it offered to create more than 5,400 jobs, add over $7 billion in investments and implement improved plans for profit-sharing and health benefits.

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"If it's not a long strike, and I wouldn't expect that it would be, it shouldn't be damaging because General Motors can always make up that production that it's lost, and it's been stockpiling vehicles", said Krebs. That would mean fewer vehicles for consumers to choose from on dealer lots, and it would make it impossible to build specially ordered cars and trucks.

In the letter to Scott Sandefur, GM's vice-president of labour relations, Dittes wrote that the company waited until just two hours before the contract expired on Saturday night to make its first serious offer. GM now has too much US factory capacity, especially to build slower-selling cars. The FBI has raided the home of Gary Jones, the union's current president.

Last year, GM announced plans to close four plants in Ohio, Michigan and Maryland, which didn't sit well with the union. Some workers have called on Jones to step down amid the probe, which has accused some union officials of hiding bribes and embezzling money from the union.

With specific details unavailable - and a final settlement still out of reach - it is unclear how much the automaker's costs will rise. Presstran and Formet supply GM plants in the U.S.

- The companies want to close the labor cost gap with workers at plants run by foreign automakers.

Unions have faced serious setbacks in recent decades, including a Supreme Court decision that crippled their fundraising ability, and "Right to Work" laws blocking mandatory membership.

"The company looks at that and says, 'Well, if we hit a downturn, we want to be able to have contingent compensation, so we don't get locked into paying higher costs if the market softens.' That same set of economic facts drives the union to want more guaranteed and certain compensation: base wage increases", she said. Employees at large firms nationwide pay about 34 percent, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. The companies would like to cut costs.

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